Keystone XL… No Way, José!

Ideological fanaticism is when activists blindly pursue an irrational goal in direct contradiction to their intended purpose.

A line has been drawn in the sand. Global warming fanatics think Keystone XL must be stopped at any price.

The cataclysmic cost was deadly demonstrated last week in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, Canada.

Activist’s noble cause is to reduce atmospheric CO2 emissions. CO2 is a known greenhouse gas.

However, if successful with Keystone XL, the tragic outcome of blind fanaticism will be to:

  1. Increase, not decrease CO2 emissions
  2. Create a greater environmental hazard
  3. Further jeopardize human life

White House reaction to the Lac-Megantic train wreck is further proof that Keystone XL will never be approved under President Obama.

The Consequence of Keystone XL Inaction

Unreported in media stories is that, if built, Keystone XL will carry North Dakota Bakken oil to American refineries on the gulf coast, to. The proposed pipeline goes through Williston, North Dakota.

The news only reports that tar sand oil from Alberta would be transported by Keystone XL.

On July 8, 2013 a train hauling 72 tanker cars filled with North Dakota Bakken oil parked for the night 7 miles from Lac-Megantic. It was on its way to a New Brunswick refinery.

If Keystone XL had been approved and built in a reasonble time-frame like other pipelines, then that train would not have went through Lac-Megantic that tragic Saturday night.

The train’s brakes were improperly set and left unattended. Cars detached and rolled backward down the 7% grade toward town. The runaway cars picked up speed until they derailed and exploded.

It is believed that 30 people got vaporized instantly in the initial explosion and fire. Another 20 bodies have been recovered. The fire burned out of control for 36 hours and 30 buildings in the heart of Lac-Megantic’s picturesque downtown business district were destroyed.

It is Canada’s most deadly train wreck in nearly 150 years, after 99 perished back in 1864.

Keystone XL and CO2

Perhaps the smartest and most informative 4 minutes of news commentary in the United States each week is “Fareed’s Take“. It is how CNN news analyst, Fareed Zakaria, opens his Sunday morning news talk show titled GPS: The Global Pubic Square.

In March, Zakaria devoted most of one Sunday morning show on why President Obama should approve Keystone XL.

From State Department sources Zakaria points out these reasons:

  • The oil will be developed whether or not Keystone XL is built
  • Preventing Keystone XL will not help with climate change
  • If not by Keystone XL, then oil will likely be delivered to market more dangerously by train
    (15 trains/day of 100 cars each)
  • Moving oil by train produces much higher CO2 emissions than pipelines

In just two years, 2010 to 2012, oil transport by train grew by 8 times.

What fanatics can’t seem to grasp is that it will take much more than renewable energy and conservation to reduce fossil fuel dependence any time soon.

The EIA predicts that nearly 80% of energy produced in the United States will still come from fossil fuels in 2040.

That is why Canadian tar sand oil can and will be developed, even if development is blocked in the United States. If not here, it’ll be done in China, Russia or other places where environmental standards are relaxed.


President Obama has been quiet as a church mouse about the Lac-Megantic tragedy. White House spokesman Jay Carney said that the administration was closely monitoring the aftermath of the accident, and offered assistance to Canadian officials. That’s it.

If Obama was going to approve Keystone XL, then he is letting a golden opportunity to do so slip by. What stronger argument can there be than that 50 lives could have been spared in Canada if Bakken oil was in Keystone XL instead of on that train? None.

Obama proclaimed that climate change is the “global threat of our time” in a speech in Berlin on June 19th. Then, on June 25th, in a Georgetown speech he totally redefined national energy policy into a national policy to fight global warming.

President Obama has become radicalized. That is why he will never approve Keystone XL.


About azleader

Learning to see life more clearly... one image at a time!

Posted on Jul 14, 2013, in Business, Climate, economics, Economy, Energy, environment, Government, news, Politics, technology. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. The two questions that I always have(but never get a satisfactory answer for) about this topic are, 1: why do we need the pipeline? I have never heard a good answer to this question. The best is that it would create jobs, I suppose that’s a good reason, but if the goal was simply to create jobs, that could be done in many other ways, for example hiring people to go around the country repairing bridges. The pipeline would have little effect on the cost of oil, and it would not increase the supply. It will not increase production, because as you mentioned the oil will be produced whether the pipeline is built or not. It will not even increase the supply regionally because most of the oil transported by the pipeline will be sold over seas anyway. This is one of the reasons fracking has not brought down oil prices, most of the increased supply is sold in other parts of the world where oil prices are higher. The oil companies sell their oil where they can get the most profit leaving the American consumer to buy more expensive imported oil. So, from the proponents I need to hear why it is actually necessary. My second question is for opponents of the line. How would the pipeline increase carbon emissions? As Zakaria pointed out the oil will be extracted and burned regardless of the pipeline. Keystone will not specifically contribute to this. Keystone will not encourage Canada to increase production, high prices and the profit motive will do that. I suppose the opponents could argue that while it may be inevitable that the tar sands will be developed and the environment ruined, at least we shouldn’t be the ones who do it. While I am sympathetic to this argument because it plays to my own biases, I also don’t think it is a terribly effective argument against the line.

    So to sum up: why do we actually need the line? And how would it actually cause more damage to the environment than us already being done?

    Excellent post by the way, I agree that Fareed Zakaria’s GPS is the best show on tv

    • “1: why do we need the pipeline?”
      I didn’t write it specifically to answer your question, but answers are in an article I just uploaded called, “Oil Transportation: Rail or Pipeline?”
      Basically, pipelines are safer and cheaper than other delivery methods and that lack of pipelines is increasing the danger of disasters like Lac-Megantic. Creating jobs and helping reduce the cost of energy is an added bonus.
      2: “How would the pipeline increase carbon emissions?”
      On its own, it doesn’t. Underground transportation of oil releases less CO2 into the atmosphere than either rail or road. Opponents to the pipeline may be thinking that it is the kind of oil – tar sand oil – that will increase CO2. They appear to think that if they can stop tar sand oil production in the USA that it will reduce CO2 overall. It is incomprehensible to them that global energy demand will insure the tar sands will be developed anyway, and in less environmentally conscious refineries located in other countries such as China.
      3: “So to sum up: why do we actually need the line?”
      Keystone XL will carry ND Bakken oil. Lac-Megantic was destroyed by ND Bakken oil. ’nuff said!

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